International Development Planning Review

Waste recyclers, embodied research and planning: evidence from Guangzhou, China

International Development Planning Review (2022), 44, (3), 371–388.

Abstract

The continued flow of rural migrants into cities has created major challenges for planning and urban management in China. Despite the growth of research concerning the embodied dimension of rural migrants’ urban lives, the development of integrated embodied knowledge and its significance for planning and urban management is yet to be articulated. In connection with waste recyclers in Guangzhou, a conceptual framework involving the body of power, the experiencing body and the embodied encounter is established to integrate embodied knowledge. Reflection on the ways in which rural migrants struggle to live in cities and their agency and capability is imperative to inform socially sensitive planning in a diverse and heterogeneous metropolis.

Published open access under a CC BY licence. https://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/

Waste recyclers, embodied research and planning: evidence from Guangzhou, China

Abstract

The continued flow of rural migrants into cities has created major challenges for planning and urban management in China. Despite the growth of research concerning the embodied dimension of rural migrants’ urban lives, the development of integrated embodied knowledge and its significance for planning and urban management is yet to be articulated. In connection with waste recyclers in Guangzhou, a conceptual framework involving the body of power, the experiencing body and the embodied encounter is established to integrate embodied knowledge. Reflection on the ways in which rural migrants struggle to live in cities and their agency and capability is imperative to inform socially sensitive planning in a diverse and heterogeneous metropolis.

Published open access under a CC BY licence. https://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/

Introduction

As the principal driving force of rapid urbanisation in China since the early 1980s, the flow of rural migrants into cities has created major challenges to planning and urban management (Farrell and Westlund, 2018). In relation to rural migrants working in the urban construction industry, the service sector and manufacturing plants, much has been written about migrant management (Chen and Fan, 2016; Li et al., 2010), migrant livelihoods and urban poverty (Caron, 2013; Zhan, 2015) and the associated social marginalisation and insecurity (Wu and Logan, 2016). It is a truism that the body is the most important tool for rural migrants seeking to occupy and create their working and living space in the city. The lived and embodied dimensions of the work and lives of rural migrants in particular have attracted research attention in the past two decades (see, for example, Ma and Cheng, 2005; Pan, 2008; Tao et al., 2017; Wang, 2009). The ways in which planning policies and the agency of body and places shape each other is now recognised as fundamental to understanding and improving the situation of this disadvantaged social group (Tao et al., 2017). However, with the recent growth of migrant studies concerning geographies of embodiment, the development of a conceptual framework for integrating embodied knowledge and its significance for planning policies remain very limited. In connection with an investigation of waste recyclers in Guangzhou, this paper aims to tackle this deficiency.

Waste recyclers, a group comprising waste pickers and waste traders, form a main sub-group of rural migrants in many developing countries, including China (Hayami et al., 2006). The emergence of waste recyclers in Chinese cities is the result of a large surplus of rural labour, the major income gap between urban and rural areas, and low start-up threshold for these small-scale operators, alongside the demand for secondary raw materials in industry and inadequate municipal recycling services (Fei et al., 2016). Usually riding push-pedal or electric-powered three-wheel carts, the waste recyclers buy recyclable refuse from households and businesses, or pick up waste from the street by sifting through rubbish bins. They obtain income from selling recyclable waste to redemption depots. Due to their different body image and the nature of their work, this group is labelled as dirty and messy, and as potentially creating disorder and disease (Zhou and Li, 2008). Waste recyclers are everyday sights in urban streets and come into direct contact with urban residents. They are therefore more obviously influenced by planning policies and urban management.

Owing to their important role in urban waste management and everyday presence in urban streets, the work and lives of waste recyclers and their working places have been mostly examined in relation to the recycling economy and policies (Goldstein, 2017; Li, 2002; Schulz, 2019; Steuer, 2017; Steuer et al., 2018; Tao et al., 2014), social stratification and urban justice (Béja et al., 1999a; 1999b) and geographical ideas of informality and mobility (Inverardi-Ferri, 2018a; 2018b). The complex interplay between the urban lives of waste recyclers and the spatialisation of planning policies in Chinese cities also provides an opportunity conducive to exploring the conceptual and practical bases for integrated embodied knowledge and its potential for better planning. This paper therefore seeks answers to the following questions: how can the specificities of waste recyclers’ urban lives be conceptualised within the context of geographies of embodiment, and, in what way and to what extent can integrated embodied knowledge contribute to practical reasoning that leads to socially sensitive planning policies?

The human body is both a physical and socio-cultural conception (Orzeck, 2007; Tolia-Kelly, 2010). This paper identifies three salient aspects of the body relevant to multiple domains of planning - the body of power, the experiencing body and the embodied encounter. These three aspects form the basis for a new conceptual framework for the production of integrated embodied knowledge, both exogenous and endogenous to waste recyclers. Using planning policy analysis and fieldwork (including participant observation and in-depth interviews), the application of the conceptual framework reveals that state regulatory policies contextualise the body circumstances of waste recyclers and thus define their identity in society. Planning policies and urban management at the city level directly influence the ways in which waste recyclers embody their struggle to work and live in the Guangzhou, and their subjectivity and sense of (dis)belonging. The results show that although they work in the city, the nature of their living space is transient and most of their social relations derive from work. The integrated embodied knowledge of these waste recyclers reflects the complexity and fundamental values of rural migrants’ experiences. Achieving fairer and more inclusive planning policy and urban management requires a professional response to social problems that integrates different forms of local knowledge and life events.

Embodied research and planning

Drawing largely on Foucault’s (1977) argument that social structure and modern power inscribe and imprint upon the body, and Merleau-Ponty’s (1966) studies on how the body acts and reacts with the environment, research since the early 1990s on the geographies of embodiment has provided rich conceptualisations of bodies. Researchers in particular offer a unique spatial perspective, arguing that bodies are places where discourse and power relations are simultaneously mapped, embodied and resisted, and where identities are performed and constructed (Bonner-Thompson and Hopkins, 2017; Harvey, 1998). The corporeal nature of the body makes it both a dimension and object of space, power and social relations. At the same time, the body has the intentionality and capacity to act as a subject, but largely expresses itself pre-consciously and involuntarily in a way that is normally hidden in the time-space routine and repeated conscious or unconscious movements (Johnston, 2009; Seamon, 2013).

A small but compelling literature has developed an embodied perspective to contemporary planning. Fenster (2013) uses the body as an approach to understanding women’s discomfort, dis-belonging and detachment in the Jewish ultraorthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Urban policy is seen as reinforcing women’s emotional status by enforcing patriarchal norms that restrict their use of urban space. Fenster concludes that as a form of embodied subjective knowledge, these personal everyday feelings are local knowledge and should be considered in planning. Buser (2014, 227) argues that non-representational theory and the ‘affective turn’, both based in embodiment research, could provide useful concepts and theories for planning. Further, Sweet and Escalante (2015) propose that insights from the body as a geographical space help in exploring explicitly embodied experiences, thus compensating for the shortcomings of planning by collecting information in the private realm.

While this existing literature emphasises that emotions, feelings and the physical senses contribute to enriching local knowledge for planning, most studies have examined marginalised social groups from the perspective of the experiencing body and embodied practices. There are few examples illustrating a clearly formulated methodology for embodiment analysis that is both exogenous and endogenous to a particular social group. Three interrelated aspects of the body - the body of power, the experiencing body and the embodied encounter - are therefore identified as the basis for a new conceptual framework for integrated embodied knowledge (Figure 1).

A conceptual framework for the production of integrated embodied knowledge

First, both privilege and marginality are fundamentally inscribed on, and experienced through the body (Grosz, 1994). Nast and Pile (2005) argue that the body is situated geopolitically, and a lived body possesses a specific historical and geographical context. The skin, emotions, habits and physical capacities of embodied subjects are inscribed and imprinted by power relationships (Foucault, 1977, 140) and it is through subjugating and disciplining bodies that dominant cultures designate and control certain groups (Johnston, 2009).

Secondly, the notion of the experiencing body helps to achieve a deeper understanding of the individual’s struggle to occupy and reconstruct urban space for business and life. The role of sensory experience in planning has been emphasised in previous studies (Pugh, 2013; Sweet and Escalante, 2015). For planners, skills including storytelling, listening, and interpreting visual and body language that reflects local knowledge are necessary to communicate and negotiate with groups from diverse backgrounds (Sandercock, 2004, 139). Meanwhile, the agency embodied by individuals calls for a re-examination of planning outcomes through investigating how embodied practices reconstruct the built environment, redefine its usage and transfer space into place. This process reflects the level of resistance or acceptance of individuals towards planning practice.

Thirdly, the embodied encounter examines how everyday interactions and relationships are developed, and how the individual’s subjectivity and (dis)belonging are formed in the process. This process has been defined by Merleau-Ponty (1966) and Goffman (1963; 1969) from the perspective of body movement, subject perception and orientation. They claim that such interactions simultaneously involve mindedness and embodiment. As such, they are not only physically based in body action but are a fluid process that involves the interaction of mind, emotions and understanding (Crossley, 1996). This idea provides a basis for exploring the multiple aspects of interaction, such as the interaction process between different actors, their socio-spatial situation and the mutual intentions behind interactions.

While these three dimensions of body have been used separately for different purposes, in this study they are integrated into a conceptual framework that links planning policies, places and individuals and the other actors surrounding them. The urban environment produced by planning directly impacts body experience, encounters with others and the reactions of residents. Individuals’ emotions, conscious or unconscious behaviours, place attachment and identity are therefore closely linked with planning practices. For instance, during the socialist development period (1949- 1978) in China, self-reliant enclosed compounds (danweis) containing a workplace, residential accommodation and service facilities were built widely in cities. Standardisation through establishing norms for housing and close neighbourhood relations have shaped people’s experience of urban life.

Urban planning in China is primarily concerned with maintaining social order and stimulating economic growth in a relatively authoritarian state. Despite the increasing interest in a participative openness to local communities, China’s dominant top-down planning system, however, excludes rural migrants from participation in the decisionmaking process. Rural migrants with limited skills are at the bottom of the social hierarchy in Chinese cities, and the empowerment essential to good planning practice has hitherto been largely absent. However, increasing number of researchers have begun to appeal for the right of rural migrants to political life and collective administration of the city given their considerable contribution to the economic system (Qian and He, 2012; Wang, 2011; Zhu, 2014). In seeking new planning strategies, it is argued that the production of integrated embodied knowledge helps to reflect the processes and outcomes of making and implementing planning policies by clarifying how a power system impacts and shapes bodies, and identifying the needs and demands of marginalised groups with limited social capital.

Choice of the study area and methods

The Linhecun area is located in the Tianhe district of Guangzhou, adjacent to the commercial centre of the district and the Eastern Railway Station. In 2004, about 20,000 people lived in Linhecun, including approximately 2,300 local residents from 671 households and about 8,700 rural migrant workers (Tao et al., 2017). Many waste recyclers in Linhecun have lived in Guangzhou for more than ten years, experiencing changes in both urban form and urban management policies as the area has undergone major physical and social transformation. Before 2004, it was an urban village - an informal settlement characterised by high-density, low-quality housing, narrow streets and congested shops. Like many other Chinese cities, rural migrants treated urban villages as a bridge between their rural hometowns and host cities (Zhan, 2015; Zhang, 2001). In 2004, Guangzhou was selected as the city for holding the sixteenth Asian Games of 2010. As part of improving the city’s image, Linhecun went through a major redevelopment process. Both local residents and rural migrants were displaced because of the demolition in Linhecun. Modern high-rise apartments were built on the original site (Altrock and Schoon, 2014; Li and Liu, 2018; Shin, 2014). Owing to rent hikes, many tenants moved to other urban villages or peri-urban areas.

The interviews undertaken for this study were with eleven waste recyclers who moved out of Linhecun to live in adjacent areas between 2007 and 2009. However, Linhecun and surrounding street blocks have remained their primary working area. They chose to continue working in the area because they had established a stable trading network with residents and businesses and thus occupied a territory. Further, they had the use of temporary shelters for free so they were able to stay. Through a social connection, the authors made contact with a waste recycling family who moved to Guangzhou in 2000. The family subsequently brought several friends and relatives to the city. They had built a successful waste picking and trading business. Due to the risk of being expelled from their working space, waste recyclers are generally suspicious of outsiders and strangers. Because of the hometown connection, the authors were allowed to observe and engage with the group’s daily routines. They were living in Shipaicun, another urban village in the Tianhe district. During fieldwork in July 2015, the authors visited their workplace every weekend. After gaining the group’s trust, the authors visited their workplace every day for two weeks in August 2015, deeply engaging in their daily lives and social network.

Through this connection, three families working around Linehecun subsequently participated in the study (all the four families are originally from Henan province). Respectively, the three families had been living in a vacant garage (about ten minutes’ walk to Linehecun), a room provided by the supermarket, and a shed on the street besides a small waste recycling centre. Regular visits to these families were carried out in September 2015.

Participant observation and in-depth interviews were used to study and interpret the complex interactions between the rural migrants, local communities and urban management authorities. A reflective and extended case-study method is employed in this paper to structure the research information (Burawoy, 1998). This model emphasises the interactions between the researchers and participants who have situational knowledge, and the mutual influences of the social processes within the locale of the study and political-economic forces beyond the study area.

The body of power: defining and contextualising waste recyclers

The power defining and shaping the bodies of rural migrants includes urban management policies and development plans at the national and city levels (Table 1). Household registration (hukou), the custody and repatriation system and residents’ identity card regulations were initially implemented by the state in 1958, 1982 and 1984 respectively (Chan, 2008; 2010; Shen, 2002). A common aim of these policies is managing the mobility of people, and they have influenced bodies in different ways. As one of China’s most economically dynamic cities, Guangzhou has prepared successive development plans and initiated a series of city beautification campaigns to achieve an image as a modern and international city (Table 1). The plans purport to identify strategic development goals and urban management regulations for Guangzhou. In the course of implementing planning ideas and urban renewal programmes, cleaning up disorderly behaviour on the streets has become one of the main tasks of the local government (Qian, 2015; Wilczak, 2018).

Urban management and planning policies and their impact on bodies

Year Urban management and planning policies Impact on body
National level 1958 Household registration (hukou) Nationwide categorising body
1982 Custody and repatriation system Disciplining and alienating
1984 Residents’ identity card regulations Symbolising and documenting
1985 Temporary residence permit Distinguishing and labelling
2010 Residence permit Distinguishing and labelling
City level 1990 Creating a national clean city Disciplining and alienating
1993 Building an international city Disciplining and alienating
2007 Creating a national civilised city Disciplining and alienating
2008 Achieving designation as a national clean city Disciplining and alienating
2018 Creating a ‘clean, safe and orderly’ Guangzhou Disciplining and alienating
2018 Creating a global city Disciplining and alienating

First implemented in 1958, the household registration (hukou) system divides Chinese people into two administrative categories: rural and urban residents. Its dual functions are to control the mobility of rural residents and the distribution of resources (Chan, 2010). Its powerful differentiating effects in terms of unequal allocation of resources effectively established distinctions in body image, body capacity, mindset and social identity between rural and urban residents. Despite the recent loosening of the hukou system, urban residents still have more access to urban education, housing, employment and social welfare than rural residents (Li et al., 2010). In public discourse, rural migrants have a series of distinguished body characteristics such as shabby clothing, untidy hair and bad personal hygiene. Since 1984, all citizens over the age of sixteen have been required to have a national identity card. It is both proof and symbol of citizen identity, as established by the household registration system (Keane, 2005).

The custody and repatriation system was established in 1982. Subsequently, in 1992, the management scope of that system was extended to include rural migrants who did not have an ID card, temporary residence permit or work permit (Chan, 2010). Rural migrants caught without these required documents were labelled as ‘three withouts’ and would be sent to a camp and then expelled to their hometowns. Waste recyclers in Guangzhou at this time normally had a government-issued ID card and work permit. However, it is not easy to obtain a temporary residence permit because they were working in an informal economic sector. Frequently, they were not able to prove they had an affordable place and stable job within three days of arriving in the city, the pre-requisites for applying for a temporary residence permit. As a result, they had to hide from police officers during work. A series of embodied practices developed in this process. In 2010, Guangzhou implemented a residence permit to replace the temporary residence permit. Despite strict conditions, it allows rural migrants to legally obtain a hukou from a host city (Chen and Fan, 2016).

The master plan for Guangzhou 2001-2010 defined the city as ‘one of the central conurbations in South China, a national historic and cultural city’, while the current master plan 2011-2020 aims to transform Guangzhou into ‘one of the important central cities in China, an international business centre and integrated transportation hub’. A series of development plans and urban management regulations have been initiated to overhaul the image of the city and its local communities. They include ‘Creating a national clean city’ (1990), ‘Building an international city’ (1993), ‘Creating a national civilised city’ (2007), and ‘Creating a clean, safe and orderly Guangzhou’ (2018) (Table 1). The plans and regulations have impacted waste recyclers, both on the streets and in their living places. Waste recyclers have long been labelled as dirty, low-quality and disorderly, as have other rural migrants. Hence, their trading activities on the streets and the way in which they manage and protect living places are restricted in order to achieve the goals of urban transformation.

At the street level, local government enforcers (chengguan) and traffic police are the main officials who interact directly with waste recyclers. The role of chengguan is to manage administrative offences and keep the city tidy and clean (Caron, 2013). Although waste recyclers normally work in residential areas and community streets rather than main streets, they are still managed by chengguan. Freight tricycles are the main vehicle used by waste recyclers. According to the regulations for non-motorised vehicles and motorcycles in Guangzhou, freight tricycles are banned in the Tianhe district. The ultimate goal of the local government is to make this group invisible on urban streets.

In order to avoid being punished by the authorities when they are working, waste recyclers have developed a range of tactics. When they do need to ride their tricycles on the main streets, they take note of where chengguan and the police are working. They also actively exchange up-to-date information about the location and movements of chengguan and the traffic police via mobile phones and oral communication. Unlike street vendors who set up their stalls close to each other and thus can react to chengguan and the police collectively (Caron, 2013), waste recyclers mainly work with family members and hometown associates, which means they do not have a strong network of resistance. When chengguan or the police catch them, they tend to accept the fine or confiscation of their tools and the waste they have collected. Resistance can lead to more severe punishment. Further, they normally use second-hand tools, thus minimising their losses.

Decisions about who should be visible and invisible are political (Zukin, 1995). Over the past seventy years, the way regulatory power shapes bodies in Guangzhou has evolved from officially differentiating social groups and symbolising social identification, to punishing and expelling disorderly itinerant residents and disciplining migrants. Through this process, rural migrants including waste recyclers have become stigmatised as a disreputable and disordered group who represent uncertainty, risk and insecurity. They are deemed not able to follow civilised and appropriate behaviours, therefore threatening a safe, clean, global and orderly city image.

The experiencing body: embodied practices and the struggle to occupy and protect living and working space

Establishing a living and working space is challenging for rural migrants, especially waste recyclers who have limited social capital. Prior to 2010, they were unlikely to find an affordable place to live and a stable job when they first arrived in Guangzhou due to strict migrant management. They were thus not eligible for a temporary residence permit. To avoid being sent back to their hometowns, waste recyclers had to hide from chengguan and police. A series of embodied practices were developed, as described by YXL:

We lived under bridges or on roadsides. We didn’t have a stable sleeping area either. This totally depended on where we were picking waste. We put clothes, quilts and other living stuff in our trolley. During daytime, we walked in the city and collected the waste, which was thrown in rubbish bins or on streets. At night, we lived with a group of fellow villagers. We stood sentry by turn. If we found out police were checking the temporary residence permits, we would immediately run away.

Living together with fellow villagers, ‘standing sentry’ in turn and ‘running’ were all body practices used by waste recyclers, and represent the way this group responded to the power system in urban areas. In this stage, such groups mainly earned money by picking and collecting refuse on streets and selling it to a redemption depot. At night, they normally slept in public places, such as streets, parks or under overpasses.

After 2010 when the residence permit replaced the temporary residence permit, waste recyclers gradually changed their living and working routines. They tended to live in urban villages where the living expenses were much lower than in other urban areas. They built a stable working territory in the urban area, which was close to their homes. However, when Linhecun was demolished in preparation for the Asian Games, they had to find new homes.

After we moved out from Linhecun, we had to find a new affordable living place. We were wandering on streets and then we found this neighbourhood. We tried to work in the vacant space here. No one expelled us. One day, the leader of this neighbourhood bought a new air conditioner. I helped him to carry it to his apartment for free. He liked us because he knew that we are diligent and honest. Therefore, he allowed us to settle down in this neighborhood. So far, we have lived here for about eight years. (ZXJ)

We have a verbal agreement with managers of this supermarket. We help them to clean papers, boxes and other waste they produce. They give us a free small room to live in and allow us to work besides their shops. (ZXS)

As described above, the waste recyclers have been able to successfully convert their embodied capital into living and working space. At the time of the interviews, ZXJ and his wife were living in a vacant underground garage and working beside an apartment building. They described the garage as ‘spacious and warm in winter and cool in summer’, adding, ‘it is much better than the white-collar workers’ home’.

Shielding their working space from its surroundings is a major effort for many waste recyclers. Although they frequently occupy areas of public space, this does not mean completely exposing themselves to the public. On the contrary, they choose to detach their working space from the public sphere using various tactics that not only protect their privacy but also reduce their visibility in the daily lives of local residents. These strategies are used to help them occupy workspaces as long as possible.

This area was vacant ground. I spent 50 RMB (around US$8) to buy dozens of low evergreen plants and planted them surrounding our workspace. It makes this area look tidier because pedestrians are unable to see the waste we have collected. I also planted a coconut seedling in the middle of this area when we came here. It is now even higher than the building. (ZXJ)

ZXJ and his wife’s workspace was located near the entrance of a community. By using trees to create a tidy perimeter, they successfully avoided pedestrians being able to see their workplace. ZXS and his wife’s workspace was located on a curved street corner that, while totally open to the public, was one-and-a-half metres higher than the street. The difference in level between the urban street and their workplace resulted in detached occupancy.

The experience of reconstructing a sense of home is multi-sensory. On the one hand, it involves the biologically grounded sense modes of touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing and the sense of balance. On the other, it also involves the relationship between these sensations and the technologies and cultural practices embedded in human society at a certain place and time (Rodaway, 2002). The waste recyclers in this study are from northern China, which has entirely different dialects, diet and music compared to Guangzhou. However, the waste recyclers have actively reconstructed their living space to develop a sense of ‘being at home’ in Guangzhou. For example, although they can speak Mandarin, they communicate with other Henan waste recyclers in the Henan dialect. They prefer to make hometown-style food and share it with other fellow workers. Language and food have thus become a bridge that links Henan waste recyclers together and provides a sense of the Henan community in Linhecun.

The embodied encounter: body image and connection

Waste recyclers’ everyday lives include numerous encounters. The social relationships surrounding them are significantly determined by their geographical, social and cultural situations, such as place of birth, hukou status and occupation. Collectively, these factors represent an invisible power acting on the waste recyclers’ bodies and forming the foundation of social identity.

The waste recyclers’ relationships with hometown compatriots and their Guangzhou clients form their main networks in Guangzhou, and influence their business profits and lived experiences. After arriving in Guangzhou, ZXJ and his wife encouraged some of their friends and neighbours from their hometown to also come and work in Guangzhou as waste pickers or refuse traders. With hometown support and connections, newcomers can obtain basic information about local work and living opportunities. Because they have tended to keep hometown traditions like their dialects and diet, they form a relatively homogeneous cluster in modern Guangzhou. This is similar to the finding from research on the development of migrant enclaves in Beijing (Tao et al., 2014). HXS, who biked around the city streets every day collecting used home appliances, described it as follows:

Most waste pickers and refuse traders are from Henan, Sichuan and Hunan. People who have the same place of origin tend to work in the same urban area. For example, those surrounding Linhecun are people from Zhumadian, Henan.

TSL also commented that:

we are the earliest group who left hometown. In the past, we brought many hometown fellows to pick waste in Guangzhou. Now, almost all the waste recyclers surrounding Linhecun are from Henan province and many of them are from Zhumadian.

Furthermore, based on their connections with clients, each waste recycler family has a territory within which they buy back most of the waste material. The territory they establish is the result of a combination of long-term cooperation and random transactions. Each waste recycler family builds regular-customer connections with the people who run or work in local convenience stores, supermarkets, hotels or office buildings. For example, the ZXS family took responsibility for collecting the waste produced by a supermarket, while XNS collected the waste from a large hotel nearby. By regularly cleaning the depot for a post office once a month, ZXJ’s family could earn 2,000-3,000 RMB (US$308-462), which is around ten times more than their normal daily income. These long-term and regular connections provide them with a basic income. Apart from commercial partners, they also collect waste from local residents. Some residents stop by their worksites to sell their used newspapers, cardboard boxes and other recyclable materials. Other residents arrange door-todoor collections by phone.

Business connections are their main sources of income. However, these connections are not stable as their work is easily replaced. ‘Making customers trust us’ is the main strategy for maintaining business connections. The waste recyclers interviewed frequently mentioned demonstrating their tidiness and decency to their clients and other residents. They were clearly aware of the stereotypes attached to them and their situation in the urban area. Whether hiding away in crowds to avoid public attention or showing their respectability by trying to ‘keep clothes clean and tidy’ and their workspace organised, the waste recyclers carefully manage their existence as ‘outsiders’ in Guangzhou.

Different from construction workers, porters and factory workers who usually live apart from their partners and children, a married couple is frequently seen as the basic family type among waste recyclers, albeit with exceptions. In TSL’s family, the young couple have taken over and extended the parents’ work, while in ZXJ and his wife’s family, their two sons and one daughter are working in different cities in Henan province. Further, a son of ZXS lives in a city in Shandong province, which is far away from both their hometown and Guangzhou. The ZXJ and ZXS families normally gather during the Chinese New Year period, when everyone returns to their hometowns. This increasing mobility has influenced intergenerational relations. Maintaining long-distance social connections with hometown relatives and adult children who are working in other cities is an important part of life. Supporting their children was one reason given for coming to Guangzhou.

As discussed in the section on the construction of a living and working space, connections with community leaders or supermarket managers are a type of social relationship that waste recyclers seek to maintain. However, an examination of the social relationships surrounding waste recyclers and their efforts to maintain and expand connections shows that waste recyclers mostly interact with local residents during the waste transaction process. In all other aspects of their daily lives, their habits, sense of belonging and social identity are still tightly linked to their hometowns.

Discussion and conclusion

Despite the recent growth of embodied studies of rural migrants, the development of integrated embodied knowledge and its use in planning have been limited in China. Focusing on waste recyclers in Guangzhou, the application of a conceptual framework encompassing the body of power, the experiencing body and the embodied encounter helps to characterise and interpret migrant struggles and (dis)belonging in an authoritarian society. Embodiment research is essential for the recognition of different forms of local knowledge (Fainstein, 2014). Reflection on the ways in which policies, people and places interact provides support for negotiations and deliberations within many planning issues.

The body of power and the power of the body are dynamically intertwined. National-level policies in China limited migrants’ access to social benefits and produced a major gap between rural and urban peoples’ lives. It is this disparity that prompted the flow of rural people into cities. Urban management regulations further influenced the lives and working conditions of this marginalised social group. They increased the uncertainty and insecurity of migrants’ lives in Guangzhou, resulting in their spatial-temporal responses. The experiencing body describes the embodied agency and social struggles of waste recyclers towards gaining and retaining access to resources and opportunities, dealing with risks and managing social networks within households, communities and the city. This process not only emphasises income generation, but also highlights the power of the human body. Waste recyclers occupy their urban space by fully utilising their body capital and active embodied practices. To ensure they can stay in cities longer, they have produced a range of tactics to sustain their livelihoods. These practices not only reflect the hardship experienced by waste recyclers, but also provide evidence of their power.

The perspectives of the experiencing body and embodied encounter reveal the waste recyclers’ efforts to maintain distance between themselves and their neighbourhoods. They build tree walls or locate their business on an elevated corner site to hide and separate their lives from local residents. Interaction between the waste recyclers and local residents is limited to the working environment. While they are physically part of the neighbourhood, waste recyclers are not able to engage in community life. Waste recyclers thus identify themselves as outsiders in a ‘civilised’ society. In the urban space they occupy, they have built their own small ‘community’ based on connections with their hometown compatriots. Further, their reconstruction of a sense of home in response to the rough living and working spaces shows their lives in the city are transient. They have given up on settling down in cities and instead save money for their families and for building a larger house in their hometowns. Home in the form of hometown and family plays an important role in the search for a sense of community and social belonging.

Waste recyclers have a different understanding and interpretation of urban neighbourhood and community. Their efforts to live in cities are the resources of their knowledge. The body that links individuals, their surroundings and power both represents and produces their knowledge. In other words, the body not only presents and expresses their sense of identity, subjectivity and (dis)belonging, but also engages in the process of producing them. The social struggles of waste recyclers are embodied. For example, through taste, voice and sound, waste recyclers successfully reconstruct the space of their rural homes in transient urban spaces. In this process, space is re-produced and the identity of waste recyclers revealed.

Wastes recyclers are a sub-group of the rural migrants of about 281.7 million people in China in 2016 (Chen and Liu, 2018, 187). Waste recyclers play a significant role in waste management in many Chinese cities. Without their work, the Chinese recycling chain would break down (Fei et al., 2016; Li, 2002). To increase urban employment, the informal economy and its stakeholders - which includes the entrepreneurs of the waste management community - are part of the recent central government’s strategy for promoting the street stall economy (ditan jingji). However, waste recyclers live vulnerable and marginalised lives characterised by poor housing conditions, lack of opportunity for education, health care and other social benefits. The needs of these temporary urban residents have largely been ignored in the planning process.

Embodied research reveals the discrepancies between regulatory management and embodied experiences and encounters. It can contribute to current professional knowledge by revealing the struggles of marginalised groups and incorporating their agency and capability into the process of plan making and implementation. Planners and decision makers are therefore enabled to produce socially sensitive responses to the needs of such groups and attain more confidence in urban management. Attention to agency is especially significant for planning because efforts to improve social conditions and urban management must at some level depend on both individual motivation and collective action.

The reasons for socio-economic inequity are many and they often have to be addressed at the same time to make any substantial and enduring change. For example, the recent loosening of the hukou system purports to encourage the incorporation of rural migrants into cities, but the policy efforts at the local level to address disparities and serve migrant communities of greatest need are very limited. Despite the recognition of the significant role of waste recyclers in the recycling economy, their use of urban space is ironically restricted. To achieve genuine positive urban change, deciphering and improving the elements in planning policies that impact on real bodies of differences merits more attention. Embodied research has shown new possibilities to rethink planning and urban management.

References

Altrock, U. and Schoon, S. (2014) ‘Maturing megacities: lessons from the Pearl River Delta experiences’, in U. Altrock and S. Schoon (eds), Maturing Megacities, Dordrecht, Springer, 359-370. Google Scholar

Béja, J. P., Bonnin, M., Xiaoshuang, F., Can, T. and Liddell, P. (1999a) ‘How social strata come to be formed: social differentiation among the migrant peasants of Henan village in Peking (Part One)’, China Perspectives, 23, 28-41. Google Scholar

Béja, J. P., Bonnin, M., Xiaoshuang, F., Can, T. and Liddell, P. (1999b) ‘How social strata come to be formed: social differentiation among the migrant peasants of Henan village in Peking (Part Two)’, China Perspectives, 24, 44-54. Google Scholar

Bonner-Thompson, C. and Hopkins, P. (2017) Geographies of the Body, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

Burawoy, M. (1998) ‘The extended case method’, Sociological Theory, 16(1), 4-33. Google Scholar

Buser, M. (2014) ‘Thinking through non-representational and affective atmospheres in planning theory and practice’, Planning Theory, 13(3), 227-243. Google Scholar

Caron, E. (2013) ‘Interactions between chengguan and street vendors in Beijing: how the unpopularity of an administration affects relations with the public’, China Perspectives, 1, 17-28. Google Scholar

Chan, K. W. (2008) ‘Internal labor migration in China: trends, geographical distribution and policies’, in United Nations Population Division (ed.), Population Distribution, Urbanization, Internal Migration and Development: an International Perspective, New York, United Nations, 81-102. Google Scholar

Chan, K. W. (2010) ‘Fundamentals of China’s urbanization and policy’, China Review, 10(1), 63-93. Google Scholar

Chen, C. and Fan, C. C. (2016) ‘China’s hukou puzzle: why don’t rural migrants want urban hukou?’, China Review, 16(3), 9-39. Google Scholar

Chen, Z. and Liu, K. (2018) ‘Assimilation of China’s rural-to-urban migrants: a multidimensional process’, Chinese Journal of Sociology, 4(2) 188-217. Google Scholar

Crossley, N. (1996) ‘Body-subject/body-power: agency, inscription and control in Foucault and Merleau-Ponty’, Body and Society, 2(2), 99-116. Google Scholar

Fainstein, S. S. (2014) ‘The just city’, International Journal of Urban Sciences, 18(1), 1-18. Google Scholar

Farrell, K. and Westlund, H. (2018) ‘China’s rapid urban ascent: an examination into the components of urban growth’, Asian Geographer, 35(1), 85-106. Google Scholar

Fei, F., Qu, L., Wen, Z., Xue, Y. and Zhang, H. (2016) ‘How to integrate the informal recycling system into municipal solid waste management in developing countries: based on a China’s case in Suzhou urban area’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 110, 74-86. Google Scholar

Fenster, T. (2013) ‘Bodies and places in Jerusalem: gendered feelings and urban policies’, Hagar-Studies in Culture, Politics and Identities, 11(1), 63-81. Google Scholar

Foucault, M. (1977) Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, A. Sherida (trans.), New York, Random House. Google Scholar

Goffman, E. (1963) Behaviour in Public Places, Glencoe, Free Press. Google Scholar

Goffman, E. (1969) The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Harmondsworth, Penguin. Google Scholar

Goldstein, J. (2017) ‘A pyrrhic victory? The limits to the successful crackdown on informal-sector plastics recycling in Wenan county, China’, Modern China, 43(1), 3-35. Google Scholar

Grosz, E. (1994) Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism, Bloomington, Indiana University Press. Google Scholar

Harvey, D. (1998) ‘The body as an accumulation strategy’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 16(4), 401-421. Google Scholar

Hayami, Y., Dikshit, A. K. and Mishra, S. N. (2006) ‘Waste pickers and collectors in Delhi: poverty and environment in an urban informal sector’, The Journal of Development Studies, 42(1), 41-69. Google Scholar

Inverardi-Ferri, C. (2018a) ‘The enclosure of “waste land”: rethinking informality and dispossession’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 43(2), 230-244. Google Scholar

Inverardi-Ferri, C. (2018b) ‘Urban nomadism: everyday mobilities of waste recyclers in Beijing’, Mobilities, 13(6), 910-920. Google Scholar

Johnston, L. (2009) ‘Body, The’, in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift (eds), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Amsterdam, Elsevier, 326-330. Google Scholar

Keane, M. (2005) ‘China’s national resident identity card: identity and population management in transition’, Pacific Basin Law Journal, 23, 212-242. Google Scholar

Li, B. and Liu, C. (2018) ‘Emerging selective regimes in a fragmented authoritarian environment: the “three old redevelopment” policy in Guangzhou, China from 2009 to 2014’, Urban Studies, 55(7), 1400-1419. Google Scholar

Li, L., Li, S. M. and Chen, Y. (2010) ‘Better city, better life, but for whom?: The hukou and resident card system and the consequential citizenship stratification in Shanghai’, City, Culture and Society, 1(3), 145-154. Google Scholar

Li, S. (2002) ‘Junk-buyers as the linkage between waste sources and redemption depots in urban China: the case of Wuhan’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 36(4), 319-335. Google Scholar

Ma, E. and Cheng, H. (2005) ‘“Naked” bodies: experimenting with intimate relations among migrant workers in South China’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 8(3), 307-328. Google Scholar

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1966) Phenomenology of Perception, C. Smith (trans.), London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Nast, H. and Pile, S. (2005) Places through the Body, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Orzeck, R. (2007) ‘What does not kill you: historical materialism and the body’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25(3), 496-514. Google Scholar

Pan, Y. (2008) ‘Migrant workers, body and society: theoretical controversy and empirical research’, Study and Practice, 4, 140-146. Google Scholar

Pugh, J. (2013) ‘Speaking without voice: participatory planning, acknowledgment, and latent subjectivity in Barbados’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103(5), 1266-1281. Google Scholar

Qian, J. (2015) ‘No right to the street: motorcycle taxis, discourse production and the regulation of unruly mobility’, Urban Studies, 52(15), 2922-2947. Google Scholar

Qian, J. and He, S. (2012) ‘Rethinking social power and the right to the city amidst China’s emerging urbanism’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 44(12), 2801-2816. Google Scholar

Rodaway, P. (2002) Sensuous Geographies: Body, Sense and Place, New York, Routledge. Google Scholar

Sandercock, L. (2004) ‘Towards a planning imagination for the 21st century’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 70(2), 133-141. Google Scholar

Schulz, Y. (2019) ‘Scrapping “irregulars”: China’s recycling policies, development ethos and peasants turned entrepreneurs’, Journal Für Entwicklungspolitik, 35(2-3), 33-59. Google Scholar

Seamon, D. (2013) ‘Lived bodies, place, and phenomenology: implications for human rights and environmental justice’, Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, 4(2), 143-166. Google Scholar

Shen, J. (2002) ‘A study of the temporary population in Chinese cities’, Habitat International, 26(3), 363-377. Google Scholar

Shin, H. B. (2014) ‘Urban spatial restructuring, event-led development and scalar politics’, Urban Studies, 51(14), 2961-2978. Google Scholar

Steuer, B. (2017) ‘Is China’s regulatory system on urban household waste collection effective? An evidence-based analysis on the evolution of formal rules and contravening informal practices’, Journal of Chinese Governance, 2(4), 411-436. Google Scholar

Steuer, B., Ramusch, R. and Salhofer, S. P. (2018) ‘Can Beijing’s informal waste recycling sector survive amidst worsening circumstances?’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 128, 59-68. Google Scholar

Sweet, E. L. and Escalante, O. S. (2015) ‘Bringing bodies into planning: visceral methods, fear and gender violence’, Urban Studies, 52(10), 1826-1845. Google Scholar

Tao, D., Tong, X. and Ferri, C. (2014) ‘The production of grey space at the rural-urban fringe: a case study of the “waste village” in Beijing’, Urban Planning International, 29(5), 8-14. Google Scholar

Tao, W., Wang, S. and Zhu, H. (2017) ‘Scavengers’ bodily practices and spatial construction in Guangzhou’, Acta Geographic Sinica, 4(6), 1173-1187. Google Scholar

Tolia-Kelly, D. P. (2010) ‘The geographies of cultural geography: identities, bodies and race’, Progress in Human Geography, 34(3), 358-367. Google Scholar

Wang, C. (2011) ‘Social policy adjustment and the integration of rural migrants into the city’, Exploration and Free Views, 1(5), 8. Google Scholar

Wang, J. M. (2009) ‘Body and symbolic distinction between country and city: taking migrant worker group from Village Wu in Heilongjiang Province as example’, Jianghai Academic Journal, 3, 131-137. Google Scholar

Wilczak, J. (2018) ‘Clean, safe and orderly: migrants, race and city image in global Guangzhou’, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 27(1), 55-79. Google Scholar

Wu, F. and Logan, J. (2016) ‘Do rural migrants “float” in urban China: neighbouring and neighbourhood sentiment in Beijing’, Urban Studies, 52(14), 2973-2990. Google Scholar

Zhan, Y. (2015) ‘“My life is elsewhere”: social exclusion and rural migrants’ consumption of homeownership in contemporary China’, Dialect Anthropology, 39, 405-422. Google Scholar

Zhang, L. (2001) ‘Migration and privatization of space and power in late socialist China’, American Ethnologist, 28(1), 179-205. Google Scholar

Zhou, D. M. and Li, C. L. (2008) ‘Junkmen and lower society: on new migrants in cities’, Journal of Guangxi University for Nationalities (Philosophy and Social Science Edition), 30(2), 46-49. Google Scholar

Zhu, Y. (2014) ‘Spatiality of China’s market-oriented urbanism: the unequal right of rural migrants to city space’, Territory, Politics, Governance, 2(2), 194-217. Google Scholar

Zukin, S. (1995) The Cultures of Cities, Oxford, Blackwell. Google Scholar

References

Altrock, U. and Schoon, S. (2014) ‘Maturing megacities: lessons from the Pearl River Delta experiences’, in U. Altrock and S. Schoon (eds), Maturing Megacities, Dordrecht, Springer, 359-370. Google Scholar

Béja, J. P., Bonnin, M., Xiaoshuang, F., Can, T. and Liddell, P. (1999a) ‘How social strata come to be formed: social differentiation among the migrant peasants of Henan village in Peking (Part One)’, China Perspectives, 23, 28-41. Google Scholar

Béja, J. P., Bonnin, M., Xiaoshuang, F., Can, T. and Liddell, P. (1999b) ‘How social strata come to be formed: social differentiation among the migrant peasants of Henan village in Peking (Part Two)’, China Perspectives, 24, 44-54. Google Scholar

Bonner-Thompson, C. and Hopkins, P. (2017) Geographies of the Body, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

Burawoy, M. (1998) ‘The extended case method’, Sociological Theory, 16(1), 4-33. Google Scholar

Buser, M. (2014) ‘Thinking through non-representational and affective atmospheres in planning theory and practice’, Planning Theory, 13(3), 227-243. Google Scholar

Caron, E. (2013) ‘Interactions between chengguan and street vendors in Beijing: how the unpopularity of an administration affects relations with the public’, China Perspectives, 1, 17-28. Google Scholar

Chan, K. W. (2008) ‘Internal labor migration in China: trends, geographical distribution and policies’, in United Nations Population Division (ed.), Population Distribution, Urbanization, Internal Migration and Development: an International Perspective, New York, United Nations, 81-102. Google Scholar

Chan, K. W. (2010) ‘Fundamentals of China’s urbanization and policy’, China Review, 10(1), 63-93. Google Scholar

Chen, C. and Fan, C. C. (2016) ‘China’s hukou puzzle: why don’t rural migrants want urban hukou?’, China Review, 16(3), 9-39. Google Scholar

Chen, Z. and Liu, K. (2018) ‘Assimilation of China’s rural-to-urban migrants: a multidimensional process’, Chinese Journal of Sociology, 4(2) 188-217. Google Scholar

Crossley, N. (1996) ‘Body-subject/body-power: agency, inscription and control in Foucault and Merleau-Ponty’, Body and Society, 2(2), 99-116. Google Scholar

Fainstein, S. S. (2014) ‘The just city’, International Journal of Urban Sciences, 18(1), 1-18. Google Scholar

Farrell, K. and Westlund, H. (2018) ‘China’s rapid urban ascent: an examination into the components of urban growth’, Asian Geographer, 35(1), 85-106. Google Scholar

Fei, F., Qu, L., Wen, Z., Xue, Y. and Zhang, H. (2016) ‘How to integrate the informal recycling system into municipal solid waste management in developing countries: based on a China’s case in Suzhou urban area’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 110, 74-86. Google Scholar

Fenster, T. (2013) ‘Bodies and places in Jerusalem: gendered feelings and urban policies’, Hagar-Studies in Culture, Politics and Identities, 11(1), 63-81. Google Scholar

Foucault, M. (1977) Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, A. Sherida (trans.), New York, Random House. Google Scholar

Goffman, E. (1963) Behaviour in Public Places, Glencoe, Free Press. Google Scholar

Goffman, E. (1969) The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Harmondsworth, Penguin. Google Scholar

Goldstein, J. (2017) ‘A pyrrhic victory? The limits to the successful crackdown on informal-sector plastics recycling in Wenan county, China’, Modern China, 43(1), 3-35. Google Scholar

Grosz, E. (1994) Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism, Bloomington, Indiana University Press. Google Scholar

Harvey, D. (1998) ‘The body as an accumulation strategy’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 16(4), 401-421. Google Scholar

Hayami, Y., Dikshit, A. K. and Mishra, S. N. (2006) ‘Waste pickers and collectors in Delhi: poverty and environment in an urban informal sector’, The Journal of Development Studies, 42(1), 41-69. Google Scholar

Inverardi-Ferri, C. (2018a) ‘The enclosure of “waste land”: rethinking informality and dispossession’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 43(2), 230-244. Google Scholar

Inverardi-Ferri, C. (2018b) ‘Urban nomadism: everyday mobilities of waste recyclers in Beijing’, Mobilities, 13(6), 910-920. Google Scholar

Johnston, L. (2009) ‘Body, The’, in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift (eds), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Amsterdam, Elsevier, 326-330. Google Scholar

Keane, M. (2005) ‘China’s national resident identity card: identity and population management in transition’, Pacific Basin Law Journal, 23, 212-242. Google Scholar

Li, B. and Liu, C. (2018) ‘Emerging selective regimes in a fragmented authoritarian environment: the “three old redevelopment” policy in Guangzhou, China from 2009 to 2014’, Urban Studies, 55(7), 1400-1419. Google Scholar

Li, L., Li, S. M. and Chen, Y. (2010) ‘Better city, better life, but for whom?: The hukou and resident card system and the consequential citizenship stratification in Shanghai’, City, Culture and Society, 1(3), 145-154. Google Scholar

Li, S. (2002) ‘Junk-buyers as the linkage between waste sources and redemption depots in urban China: the case of Wuhan’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 36(4), 319-335. Google Scholar

Ma, E. and Cheng, H. (2005) ‘“Naked” bodies: experimenting with intimate relations among migrant workers in South China’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 8(3), 307-328. Google Scholar

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1966) Phenomenology of Perception, C. Smith (trans.), London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Nast, H. and Pile, S. (2005) Places through the Body, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Orzeck, R. (2007) ‘What does not kill you: historical materialism and the body’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25(3), 496-514. Google Scholar

Pan, Y. (2008) ‘Migrant workers, body and society: theoretical controversy and empirical research’, Study and Practice, 4, 140-146. Google Scholar

Pugh, J. (2013) ‘Speaking without voice: participatory planning, acknowledgment, and latent subjectivity in Barbados’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103(5), 1266-1281. Google Scholar

Qian, J. (2015) ‘No right to the street: motorcycle taxis, discourse production and the regulation of unruly mobility’, Urban Studies, 52(15), 2922-2947. Google Scholar

Qian, J. and He, S. (2012) ‘Rethinking social power and the right to the city amidst China’s emerging urbanism’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 44(12), 2801-2816. Google Scholar

Rodaway, P. (2002) Sensuous Geographies: Body, Sense and Place, New York, Routledge. Google Scholar

Sandercock, L. (2004) ‘Towards a planning imagination for the 21st century’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 70(2), 133-141. Google Scholar

Schulz, Y. (2019) ‘Scrapping “irregulars”: China’s recycling policies, development ethos and peasants turned entrepreneurs’, Journal Für Entwicklungspolitik, 35(2-3), 33-59. Google Scholar

Seamon, D. (2013) ‘Lived bodies, place, and phenomenology: implications for human rights and environmental justice’, Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, 4(2), 143-166. Google Scholar

Shen, J. (2002) ‘A study of the temporary population in Chinese cities’, Habitat International, 26(3), 363-377. Google Scholar

Shin, H. B. (2014) ‘Urban spatial restructuring, event-led development and scalar politics’, Urban Studies, 51(14), 2961-2978. Google Scholar

Steuer, B. (2017) ‘Is China’s regulatory system on urban household waste collection effective? An evidence-based analysis on the evolution of formal rules and contravening informal practices’, Journal of Chinese Governance, 2(4), 411-436. Google Scholar

Steuer, B., Ramusch, R. and Salhofer, S. P. (2018) ‘Can Beijing’s informal waste recycling sector survive amidst worsening circumstances?’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 128, 59-68. Google Scholar

Sweet, E. L. and Escalante, O. S. (2015) ‘Bringing bodies into planning: visceral methods, fear and gender violence’, Urban Studies, 52(10), 1826-1845. Google Scholar

Tao, D., Tong, X. and Ferri, C. (2014) ‘The production of grey space at the rural-urban fringe: a case study of the “waste village” in Beijing’, Urban Planning International, 29(5), 8-14. Google Scholar

Tao, W., Wang, S. and Zhu, H. (2017) ‘Scavengers’ bodily practices and spatial construction in Guangzhou’, Acta Geographic Sinica, 4(6), 1173-1187. Google Scholar

Tolia-Kelly, D. P. (2010) ‘The geographies of cultural geography: identities, bodies and race’, Progress in Human Geography, 34(3), 358-367. Google Scholar

Wang, C. (2011) ‘Social policy adjustment and the integration of rural migrants into the city’, Exploration and Free Views, 1(5), 8. Google Scholar

Wang, J. M. (2009) ‘Body and symbolic distinction between country and city: taking migrant worker group from Village Wu in Heilongjiang Province as example’, Jianghai Academic Journal, 3, 131-137. Google Scholar

Wilczak, J. (2018) ‘Clean, safe and orderly: migrants, race and city image in global Guangzhou’, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 27(1), 55-79. Google Scholar

Wu, F. and Logan, J. (2016) ‘Do rural migrants “float” in urban China: neighbouring and neighbourhood sentiment in Beijing’, Urban Studies, 52(14), 2973-2990. Google Scholar

Zhan, Y. (2015) ‘“My life is elsewhere”: social exclusion and rural migrants’ consumption of homeownership in contemporary China’, Dialect Anthropology, 39, 405-422. Google Scholar

Zhang, L. (2001) ‘Migration and privatization of space and power in late socialist China’, American Ethnologist, 28(1), 179-205. Google Scholar

Zhou, D. M. and Li, C. L. (2008) ‘Junkmen and lower society: on new migrants in cities’, Journal of Guangxi University for Nationalities (Philosophy and Social Science Edition), 30(2), 46-49. Google Scholar

Zhu, Y. (2014) ‘Spatiality of China’s market-oriented urbanism: the unequal right of rural migrants to city space’, Territory, Politics, Governance, 2(2), 194-217. Google Scholar

Zukin, S. (1995) The Cultures of Cities, Oxford, Blackwell. Google Scholar